Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join
Member Spotlight: Greg Knop
Share |

What is your current role at Family Boating & Marine Centers of FL, inc.?

Sales & Marketing Manager

How did you get started in the boating industry?

Growing up in and around the dealership while it grew and created its own identity was very influential on my own future goals to enter the dealership as an employee.  My career really got going in 2008.  I worked in outside sales for a construction materials company for 3 years after graduating college.  I started at the dealership just as the recession hit.

What can you attribute your family’s success in the industry to? 

Hard work and customer service.  We don’t advertise much but we carry a great local reputation that prompts much repeat and referral business.  We are nearing completion of our 25th year in business.  *Brag alert: I am proud to say that we are currently competing in the finals of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce “Small Business of the Year” competition as one of five finalists from a field of over 300 nominees.

Do you have certain family values you carry over into your business? 

Absolutely.  Take care of your employees and your customers, and they’ll take care of you.  Never lose focus of how important daily operations are to long term success.  My father and grandfather are very caring people and I’ve witnessed them go well above what’s required or expected to help out our employees and customers.

What is the most interesting decision you’ve made while in the boating business? 

The opening a [waterfront] 2nd location only 10 miles away from our original “headquarters” location.  While we are only a couple of zip codes apart, we have successful in both sales and service.

Where do you see yourself and your company in 10 years? 

I imagine I’ll be more entrenched in the role my father Paul currently holds; which is literally to do whatever is necessary to “keep the boat on plane”.  I hope to see modest and sustainable revenue growth, and another location or two by the year 2025.

You’re part of YLAC, why did you join YLAC?

I actually received one of MRAA’s emails about YLAC and it peaked my curiosity.  I applied for the council and was honored to have been selected. 

And why do you feel it’s important that the younger side of the industry get involved with YLAC?

Our industry is unarguably entering a transition phase.  All aspects of the marine industry have key decision makers that will be retired in 5-10 years.  Now is the time us “youngsters” to step up and face the challenges.  My experience within YLAC has introduced me to people, dealerships, and perspectives that I otherwise would have never experienced.

How have you overcome industry challenges? 

By never losing sight of what we do best.  Offer top quality products and back it up with a level of service that reinforces that quality.  While the sales volume may drop in economic slumps, our service departments inject the revenue needed to make ends meet. 

Especially during the years of 2008-2009 in the recession.   I was very green during these times but I’ve reflected upon them as of late.  I remember watching my father and mother sacrifice their own income and personal assets to allow for enough cash flow to satisfy our obligations.  Our entire team made an ownership-type decision to swallow salary and hourly pay cuts in order to maintain their employment and benefits.

What are “Five Fast Facts” about yourself?

o   Family Boating was founded when I was 5 years old, so I have a vivid memory of this exciting time in our family’s history.

o   The oldest of 3 boys, I’m the only one crazy enough to work in the family’s boat business.

o   I represent the 3rd generation within the dealership.

o   My wife Gina and I have a 1 ½ year old daughter and we’re expecting our second daughter in December.  Perhaps one of them will one day represent the 4th generation within the dealership…

o   I recently sold a boat to someone whose grandfather bought a boat from my father in 1989 (our first year).